The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project

Tell Obama: Condition aid to Israel on compliance with international law

Annie Robbins, Mondoweiss, January 10, 2013

There’s a big rally coming up on Inauguration Weekend in Washington DC and we’re all invited. The “No Blank Check Rally,” sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace, Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee and Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle East Peace is a chance, as the promoters say, to

                                         Tell President Obama:

                                   Israel should not be above the law.

Condition US aid to Israel on compliance with US & international law.

No Blank Check for Israel

Rally & Candlelight Procession to the White House

Saturday January 19, 2013

4 – 6 pm EST

Washington, DC


Rally starts at Farragut Square (Connecticut Ave., 17th and K Streets, NW)

Followed by candlelight procession down 17th Street

Ends at 17th St. and Pennsylvania Ave.—one block from White House.

So what’s it all about and why is it so important Americans show up? I spoke with Shelley Fudge, Jewish Voice for Peace DC Metro Chapter coordinator, and asked her what the No Blank Check rally was all about. She said she wanted peace in the Middle East to be on Obama’s front burner with US aid to Israel in compliance with US and International laws. ”Obama told us to make him do it at the beginning of his presidency and we’re ready. … we have to make him. We want something for our tax dollars we give Israel.”

Fudge is referring to Obama’s own description of presidential power and community organizing. As Amy Goodman said, “In Obama’s second term, hope for change rests with us, the people” and she continued:

President Obama is a former community organizer himself. What happens when the community organizer-in-chief becomes the commander-in-chief? Who does the community organizing then?

Interestingly, he offered a suggestion when speaking at a small New Jersey campaign event when he was first running for president. Someone asked him what he would do about the Middle East. He answered with a story about the legendary 20th century organizer A Philip Randolph meeting with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Randolph described to FDR the condition of black people in America, the condition of working people. Reportedly, FDR listened intently, then replied: “I agree with everything you have said. Now, make me do it.”

That was the message Obama repeated.

There you have it. Make him do it. You’ve got an invitation from the president himself.

President Obama has asked that we make our voices heard to move his administration and Congress in the right direction. This is our chance. Israel, the biggest long-term recipient of US aid, should not be above the law.

There’s a letter to Obama with almost 50,000 signatures so far and the goal of the sponsors is to collect as many signatures as possible before Inauguration Day and deliver the letter to the president. Sign it HERE.

The Obama Letter:

Dear President Obama,

We are Americans from small towns and big cities, and we are Palestinians and Israelis a world away. We are the women, men, and children who are suffering every single day in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel, and we are the people from across the world who seek to end that suffering. We are mothers of soldiers and children of refuseniks. We are Jews and Muslims, Christians and atheists, and people of the many other traditions of the world.

And we are all united by our determination to see a truly just peace take root in Israel and Palestine. That goal became even more elusive during your first term, but the American voters have just given you a second chance to make history.

Our request is simple.

Fifteen church leaders have bravely spoken out in a letter to Congress–stating a principle that should be obvious: Israel, the biggest long-term recipient of US aid, should not be above the law. Mr. President, please condition US aid to Israel on compliance with US and international law. It must not be used to violate the rights of Palestinians.

Anything less is a danger to Palestinians, to Israelis, to Americans and to the entire world.

Sign it HERE.

Endorsed by over 50 organizations from around the country, sponsors have been overwhelmed by the response. Many endorsers and signatories from around the country will be attending. Show your support by attending the rally/candlelight procession to the White House – along with Radio Rahim and other entertainers soon to be announced.

  Sign the letter to President Obama Now! Help secure 75,000 signatures!


Alliance for Global Justice
American University Students for Justice in Palestine
BDS LA for Justice in Palestine (Los Angelos, CA)
Brooklyn For Peace
Chicago Divests
Chicago Faith Coalition on Middle East Policy
Coalition to Stop $30 Billion to Israel
CodePink Arizona
Committee for Open Discussion of Zionism
Committee for Palestinian Rights (Howard County, MD)
Cornell University Students for Justice in Palestine
DC Statehood Green Party
Dorchester People for Peace (Boston)
Episcopal Peace Fellowship Palestine Israel Network
14 Friends of Palestine
Friends of Palestine Wisconsin
Hilton Head for Peace
Interdenominational Advocates for Peace of Ann Arbor, MI
Interfaith Peace-Builders
Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.
Jewish Voice for Peace – American University
Jewish Voice for Peace Bay Area Chapter
Jewish Voice for Peace Boston
Jewish Voice for Peace – DC Metro
Jews Say No! (New York City)
Madison-Rafah Sister City Project (Madison, WI)
Middle East Committee of Women Against Military Madness
Middle East Peace Now
Minnesota Break the Bonds
Palestine Israel Action Group of Ann Arbor Friends Meeting
Pax Christi Hilton Head
Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore
Peace Action Montgomery (Montgomery County, MD)
Sabeel DC Metro
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (Boulder, CO Branch)
Unitarian Universalist Church Of Kenya
Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East
United Methodists’ Holy Land Task Force
University of Maryland Students for Justice in Palestine
US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
US Palestinian Community Network
Veterans for Peace – Phil Berrigan Memorial Chapter (Baltimore MD),
Washington DC International Socialist Organization
Wisconsin Middle East Lobby Group
Women in Black Union Square